I was just wondering how "close to home" as it were is it generally accepted to go in songwriting? Kinda like Cannibal Corpse type story and Megadeth style conspiracy theory , occulty lyrics. Nothing serious , just for effect. Are lyrics about real events acceptable? and not recent stuff just like serial killers and that kinda stuff. It's just for private work and study , may use it someday though I guess.

Thanks Simon
There has been lyrics written about pretty much every subject known to man. This includes recent events. Just look at how many songs came out about 9/11. I even wrote part of a lyric about the space shuttle that blew up a few years ago, though I never followed up on it. A certain well known singer, in between biting the heads off of small critters and pissing on the Alamo, wrote a song about an occultist known as Alistair Crowley.

So go ahead and write anything that you're inspired to write.
Anything can be an "acceptable" lyrical inspiration, because the only person that really needs to find it acceptable is you and you only. There are plenty of songs that have themes that some people hate because it offends whatever morals they have, screw those people. To give you an idea of what i mean here's the names of a few songs that critics love to hate because of the lyrics (some because of the music, i cite where that is obvious.)

Throbbing Gristles "Hamburger Lady" is a song that, personally, i don't like (mainly because im not into industrial, the song is somewhat scary to me.) But, we're talking about the lyrics here, arent we? The lyrics are inspired by a woman that a band member saw at an intense burn ward at a local hospital.

Another good Throbbing Gristle example is "Very Friendly" A song about the Moors Murders.

We also have plenty bands that i do enjoy listening to that use controversial lyrics, for example, The Dead Kennedys, actually, how about most punk rock bands? Fear, Black Flag, I alredy mentioned the Dead Kennedys, etc... All of these bands have songs that could be viewed as Unacceptable by some members of society, Fears "New York is Alright if you like saxophones", Dead Kennedys "I Kill Children", Black Flags "Slip it In"

How about some examples from today, perhaps some Rage Against the Machine, Electric Wizard, Slayer, etc... Electric Wizard is a good example of non-controversial lyrics that still are about strange occult things such as Witchcraft, HP Lovecraft, Greek/Roman Mythology, etc...

On top of it all, most of these bands all have songs about drugs, a theme that has been frowned upon by society for ages.

P.S. There is also a list of songs that have been banned from Clear Channel radio stations ever since 9/11 because they could be seen as offensive, RATM's entire discography is on that list. Makes you wonder if they really just used 9/11 as an excuse.